How to Cook a Boneless Ham on a Rotisserie

by Fred Decker

Any roast or other large piece of meat is better when it's cooked evenly from all sides, avoiding a mixture of overcooked and undercooked places. It's even beneficial for pre-cooked meats, such as a boneless ham. That's why spit-cooking on a rotisserie remains popular. You can cook your ham outdoors on a grill or indoors in an oven using the same basic technique.

On a Grill

Attach the rotisserie motor to your grill. Set up and light your coals, adjusting the vents and draft to achieve a temperature of 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a gas grill, preheat it to the same temperature.

Trim any excess surface fat from the ham, leaving 1/4 inch to protect the meat from drying out. Score the fat lightly with a sharp knife, to help it render in the heat. Pat the ham dry with clean paper towels.

Skewer the ham from end to end with the spit, then slide the secondary forks or prongs into place to keep the ham stationary. Rotate the spit a few times by hand, to test its balance. If necessary, remove the spit and re-insert it.

Open the grill and lift your spit into place. Place a pan under the ham to catch drips as the fat renders out, preventing flare-ups that can give your ham harsh, burnt flavors. Close the lid, and start the motor.

Cook for approximately 9 to 10 minutes per pound, or until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 F when tested with an instant-read thermometer. If you wish to glaze your ham, brush on the glaze 30 minutes before the end of your expected cooking time.

Let the ham rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

In an Oven

Preheat your oven to 325 F. While it's heating, trim all but 1/4-inch of surface fat from the ham. Leaving that much in place protects the ham from drying as it cooks.

Slide the ham onto the main spit, aiming for the ham's center of gravity. Slide the supporting prongs or forks into place, then test how well-balanced the ham is by rotating the spit by hand. If it's badly unbalanced, remove the spit and try again.

Place the rotisserie unit in the oven, locking it into place. Slide an empty pan underneath to catch drippings, then close the oven door and start the rotisserie motor.

Bake the ham for 9 to 10 minutes per pound, or until its internal temperature reaches 140 F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.

Items you will need

  • Gas or charcoal grill with rotisserie assembly
  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towels
  • Drip pan
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Basting brush
  • Glaze (optional)


  • Pre-cooked hams are considered food safe at 140 F, as long as they are purchased in the processor's original packaging. If your ham has been re-packaged or deboned at the butcher's shop, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F instead. This requires an additional 2 to 4 minutes per pound.
  • Roasting unbalanced meats on a rotisserie can cause the motor to burn out, especially in lower-cost units. Be diligent about balancing the ham to the best of your ability.
  • When loading the ham into your oven or grill, exercise caution to avoid burning yourself on the preheated surfaces.


About the Author

Fred Decker is a trained chef and certified food-safety trainer. Decker wrote for the Saint John, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, and has been published in Canada's Hospitality and Foodservice magazine. He's held positions selling computers, insurance and mutual funds, and was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

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